See & Hear Better!
For your congregation to get the most out of the service they’re attending, they need to see and hear with clarity. Musical nuances can be lost because of a bad mix. The most powerful parts of a sermon can go unnoticed if people are distracted by harsh lighting or a clipping microphone.
Problems with light and sound pull your congregation out of the experience, so knowing how to resolve them – or prevent issues from happening in the first place – becomes not just a technical issue, but a spiritual one as well!
There’s no way to fully foresee every lighting or audio scenario, but these tips can help you anticipate the events of a service, and use your A/V equipment to make them look and sound their best.
Front Lighting vs. Backlighting
The placement of your lights (and when you decide to use them) can have a significant effect on how people perceive what’s happening. Front lighting is used to give clarity to the audience, illuminating the people on stage and creating points of focus for the congregation.
Alternatively, backlighting gives depth, helps create mood, and adds contrast between the elements in view.
Understand the difference between these two light sources, and how they affect how the rest of the room sees the service. Think about when a speaker needs to be lit from the front to draw attention, or when a band may need heavier backlighting to set the mood.
2. Consider Presets
If you’re using a digital mixing board, you likely have the ability to save presets. This is especially useful if the worship band is using the same instrumentation for every service. Consider creating and storing a preset for the typical band, or even for other parts of service (like a choir, certain speakers, etc.).
This will give you baseline to start from, and make mixing a matter of fine tuning – instead of starting from scratch every time.
3. Minimize Microphone Bleed
Pay close attention to the levels of each microphone on stage, and consider what other ambient sounds they might be picking up. Too much unintended sound in a microphone can be disastrous, so it’s critical to pay attention to both placement and EQ – especially with vocal mics.
If your singers are too close to the drummer or a guitar amp, the high frequencies can bleed into the vocal mics. This can lead to feedback, muddy vocals, and an overall harsh mix in your vocal channels. Do your best to position your vocal mics strategically, and use EQ to highlight the singer’s frequency (and mix out harsh cymbal sounds).
This is just the beginning of all there is to keeping your church service looking and sounding its best. These tips can get you started, but the ins and outs of a great A/V is an entire universe of details to learn. Experiment, be patient, and always be conscious of what’s facilitating the overall service.
If you have questions, or are looking to expand your training, contact Sound Connections Group today!